last night’s episode of Empire, actor Jussie Smollett‘s character, Jamal Lyons, was shot and rushed to the hospital following an attempt to protect his father’s life.
The show ended briefly after that scene, making for some serious cliffhanger action heading into next week’s episode, but Smollett may have just vanished all the suspense from the situation.
The actor and musician appeared to send some farewell tweets out from his account a few days ago, declaring that he ‘thoroughly enjoyed his time with Empire,’ and that he’ll be diving deeper into the entertainment world with
“a record & some movies.”
Smollett has been with Empire since its premiere episode in 2015, alongside Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard.
As a central cast member, he can be credited with being one of the major forces that helped Empire break several ratings records during the show’s inaugural season, including becoming the first show to ever grow in total viewers over each of its first five telecasts, a record that had previously stood for nearly a quarter-century.
Jussie was let go from the show because he got greedy in contract negotiations, demanding as much coin as his on-screen parents Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard.
“Terrence [Howard] and Taraji [Henson] are the stars of the show, and they are going to be paid as stars. But the rest aren’t going to make huge sums from the show,”
a source reports.
His co-stars Henson and Howard, the source explains, were able to get extra checks from FOX by hosting specials a back door raise, if you will, to get around contracts but Jussie wasn’t given the same opportunity, and he’s not happy about it.
“Jussie wasn’t asking for way too much money just a nice raise.
But the people at FOX were like no, there was no money left in the budget.”
however, the Empire show-runners have something different to say about Smollett’s future with the program.
EW says they’ve learned that Empire viewers haven’t seen the last of Jamal Lyon, and that he
“remains under contract.”